Text to 9-1-1 Service is available in the City of Allentown for All Major Wireless Carriers
Text to 911 is intended primarily for use in two emergency scenarios:
For an individual who is speech or hearing impaired and...
For a person who is unable to make a voice call, for example during a medical emergency that renders the person incapable of speech, or in the instance of a home invasion, domestic violence, or abduction.
Customers should use the texting option only when calling 911 is NOT an option.
Call 9-1-1 if you Can, Text if you Can’t !
Text to 9-1-1 Requirements:
Using a phone to call 911 is still the most efficient way to reach emergency help.
Texting is not always instantaneous, which is critical during a life-threatening emergency.
It may take slightly longer to dispatch emergency services in a Text to 911 situation because of the time involved.
Someone must enter the text, the message must go over the network and the 911 telecommunicator must read the text and then text back.
There are texting guidelines that should be followed:
Providing location information and nature of the emergency in the first text message is imperative, since the Allentown Communications Center will receive only an approximate location of the cell phone, and will not be able to speak with the person sending the text.
Text messages sent to 911 have the same 160-character limit as other text messages.
SMS-911 should only be used to communicate between emergency help and the text originator with no pictures, video, other attachments or other recipients appended to the message.
Text abbreviations or slang should never be used so that the intent of the dialogue can be as clear as possible.
Customers must be in range of cell towers in the Allentown area. If customers are outside or near the edge of the county, the message may not reach the Allentown Communications Center.
In these cases, the customer will receive a ‘Bounce Back’ message advising them to make a voice call to 9-1-1.
Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint customers must have mobile phones that are capable of sending text messages.
The Text to 9-1-1 solution is available for customers who use the native SMS provided by their respective wireless carrier.
The texting function should only be used for emergency situations that require an immediate response from police, fire or emergency medical services.
Non-emergency issues should still be communicated to the Allentown Communications Center through its non-emergency line at (610) 437-7751